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My search for pocket binoculars; the case for the Maven 7x28. (1 Viewer)

cosmogman

New member
United States
Hi, new to the forum but I found a lot of help here when I started looking for some pocket binoculars so I thought I would post my journey; maybe someone else that is new can learn from it. My entry into modern birding optics started with a desire to bring some binoculars on my bike rides as there is so much to see in some preserves and state parks I ride through. I was also hoping to also use the new set for dog walks through the neighborhood which is full of fun birds. Thus I used birdforum and other sources to understand what was out there. In the end I wound up buying a Hawke Endurance ED 8x25 monocular to keep in my saddle bag.

Why? Well 8x25 double hinge are the only binoculars that fit in a saddle bag and it turns out I don’t like any 8x25s. I first tried my dad’s old double hinge Nikons but just didn’t like their sharpness or how they felt on the eye, then I bought a pair of Hawke endurance ED’s and while better visually I still had issues with getting an easy view. I think I also had a bad pair as the short focus was around 15 ft (vs quoted 7) and there was quite the reflection looking at anything with backlighting (but only on one barrel). I thought the slightly bigger (physically) Zeiss Terra 8x25 might work better but those were not easy either. I would also point out that I thought the Zeiss felt much cheaper than the Hawkes and found the color quite flat (not just against the Hawkes but especially when compared with my GPO ED). I am quite surprised at the positive review(s) I saw on this site for the Zeiss, maybe at 175$ I would understand.

Dismayed, it was then that I finally put it all together and understood the importance of exit pupil as a comfort factor; I just need something bigger than 8x25 especially when biking and walking. For the bike I gave up on binoculars and got the Hawke monocular which fits easily into my saddle bag and works just fine for quick stops (without having to set both eyes the 8x25 suffices and is quick). But for dog walking (and for my 8 year old as he has been getting into birding) I still wanted a ‘pocket’ pair. I also realized I don’t like double hinges. On walks, while also holding a leash, they just move too easily and it’s tough to adjust them to the eye with one hand. So I looked at some single hinge and still didn’t like the 8x25. I tried the Swaro CL 8x30 and while nice just too expensive for ‘shove in my pocket’ binos and heavy at 17+ oz. I tried the 8x28 Vortex DB but noticeably less bright and sharp than any of the others even when not side by side.

Then I saw the 7x28 Maven’s online. I bought a pair and love them for their purpose. They fit in my pants pocket easily (mens L) and don’t pull them down at 12oz. They adjust in one hand and stay so; I can just slam them into my eyes and see without fiddling. At 7x they work very well in the canopy of oaks I walk the dog in and I think make it slightly easier for my kid to use (we went on a kayak last week and he could hold them still enough on water). They are very sharp and bright, much better than the Zeiss/Hawkes. They are not as bright as my GPO ED (8x42 understandably) and have the same cooler color as the Zeiss but all in all they fit their purpose as something easy to use while moving. The FOV is smallish but as a 7x I find it quite easy to see bird then point to bird without having to search in the branches. When the bird moves I can’t follow it like the GPO’s but it’s not any worse than the Zeiss/Hawkes for comparison.

So if you are a biker and also want to have some zoom once in awhile get a monocular. If you are a birder who rides a bike to go birding, get a backpack and carry your 8x42s😊. For comfort and ease of use while walking the dog consider the Maven 7x28 over a double hinge pocket.

Cheers,

Matt
 
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